There is an incredible civil war going on throughout the world and a critical need for greater global awareness on the issue. Across much of the world, climate change is making environments less capable of supporting human life.
Recently, however, after more than two weeks of debate, nearly 200 countries have adopted the global agreement to cut and then eliminate greenhouse gas pollution collectively. ABC News reports, “There were tears of joy at the United Nations climate change conference in Paris after world leaders agreed on an historic deal to cut emissions.” According to news from the National Post, in the pact, the countries commit to limiting the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally, beginning at some point between 2050 and 2100.
The 2015 Paris Climate Summit is a helpful reminder that the Sharing Economy, which helps find more productive uses for underutilized assets, is having a positive, transformative effect on the environment.
For example, Sharing Economy ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft limit climate change by promoting sustainable travel. A sharing economy company such as Pley, a toy rental company, eliminates 10.5 pounds of CO2 emission for every toy it rents. Additionally, home sharing companies also encourage sustainable travel. According to a study conducted by the Cleantech Group, trips that rely on home sharing companies, including bed-and-breakfasts, emit 66 percent less CO2 than trips using hotels, including hotels that have earned five-star efficiency ratings. This is because fewer resources are used to care for travelers.
Investors are increasingly intrigued by the potential of these sharing economy companies to radically upend both how we consume goods and how we work to afford them—whether it’s monetizing underutilized assets or forgoing purchase of those assets altogether.
The rise of the sharing economy is a potent weapon in the carbon war. One third of business leaders see the value in sharing best practice, costs and resources to improve efficiency and reduce emissions that would enable them to respond effectively to climate change. But economic transformation cannot come from invention alone, it is also dependent on the adoption of new, innovative products and services across the economy.